Everyone's rushed to their keyboards to pontificate on the big news: that Oprah will shut down her daytime talk show in 2011 to concentrate on her new upcoming cable network.
Here's a run-down of what's been said thus far tonight:
Sun-Times TV critic Paige Wiser points out that, hey, just a few months ago Oprah shut down Michigan Avenue and hollered to the throng about how wonderful a city Chicago was and what a beautiful backdrop it made for her show. So ... yeah, uh, Oprah. Was that a going away party?
Mayor Daley's reaction: It's the media's fault, he says, apparently because we had the audacity to inquire who exactly was paying for that Boul Mich street party. "She loves this city, and I will be talking to her," he said tonight, "but again, that became a big rhubarb of the Chicago press: Beat up Oprah. And so, you keep kicking people, and people will leave. Simple as that."
Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert (who once dated the queen of talk shows) thinks this move is all about Oprah's forward thinking: "Scheduled TV is no longer where the audience is. It's not the shows that are slipping; traditional television itself is slipping. I think Oprah will announce she's shifting into the new mode. I predict she'll be on OWN cable, she'll syndicate overseas, she'll have same-day reruns, she'll stream on the Internet, she'll have an online archive of popular and legendary shows."
Elsewhere online, there's a lot of talk about the void that will be left behind when "The Oprah Winfrey Show" signs off.
The New York Times sees trouble on network TV:
The list of repercussions of her decision is long. For CBS, the owner of syndication rights to her show, it means the loss of its signature program and millions of dollars every year in revenue. For ABC stations, where her show was largely seen, it means the loss of daytime's most popular program, a generator of giant audiences leading into evening news programs.
The big winners are Discovery Communications, which is partners with Winfrey on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) that is due to launch in early 2011, Ellen DeGeneres and Warner Bros., which syndicates her daytime talk show and all the TV stations that will no longer have to compete against Winfrey in daytime.
A source summed up the situation neatly for The Hollywood Reporter: "As one syndie veteran summed it up for me, 'If you now have "Oprah," you're depressed; if you don't, you're ecstatic.' "
And Forbes has the best headline of the night: Oprah Gets Out of Her Own Way.
Also, you know who else is really crying over this news? Book publishers!